MindArc had the pleasure of attending one of the most anticipated conferences for thought leaders in eCommerce.
The Online Retail iMedia Conference is held once every year in the Sheraton Hotel on the Gold Coast.
The event centres around the brightest retailers and solution providers in eCommerce, their journeys in growth. The event gives eCommerce merchants a relaxed environment and breathing room to discover new ideas, solutions and strategise how these can help their business get to the next level.
Our Head of Production Cez Ceron and our General Manager Cameron Gomes, had the pleasure of attending and meeting some of the leaders in retail one on one.
We caught up with Cam to find out what he thought about the event and gain an insiders perspective.
Q1: Why is iMedia seen as an important industry event?
Cam: iMedia is one of the only eCommerce events where online retailers can get the opportunity to create intimate connections with their peers and thought leaders.
Cez: It is a fantastic way to for merchants and retailers to connect and discuss both the current state and future outlook of our industry. It also presents an opportunity for retailers and merchants to get to know each other on a more personal level.
Q2: What was one of your key highlights?
Cam: It was great to see Julie from Flora and Fauna as the keynote speaker, speak about the importance of core business values and how this finds itself back to the customer. She talked about how their core values drives their customer engagement. In a world where eComm businesses are at the whim of the customer, Flora and Fauna are running their business in a way in which allows them to stay proactive with their customers. This is really cool.
Cez: Reconnecting with old colleagues and meeting talented individuals and businesses in the industry. More importantly though was watching some inspiring and informative keynote speakers from both retailers and merchants.
Q3: What is the format of the event?
Cam: The event runs for 3 days, here is a day by day synopsis..
Day 1: Kick off with speed dating styled one on one meetings & Dinner
The meetings allows both merchants and vendors to quickly be introduced to each other and create the foundations of relationships which carry on to the next 2 days. This is followed by a lavish dinner celebrating the opening of the event with keynote speakers.
Day 2: After a light networking buffet breakfast and some small presentation by merchants leading innovations and change in the industry, retailer workshops commence. These are led by vendors looking to help merchants think of new ideas and solutions they could employ in their businesses. From there you are taken to an activity to enjoy with the new connections you have made. There are choices such as Golf, Paintball, BBQ, Sailing and more.
The evening finalises with a Gala dinner which features a celebrity speaker and magic show. Lastly before retiring, a nightcap with your new friends at the bar.
Day 3: The Final day sees a delicious breakfast shared with new friends and connections, followed by some final workshops and ending with closing remarks.
Q4: Did you take part in any of the workshops or presentations?
Cam: MindArc had the opportunity to take part in the final workshops this year. Our presentation discussed the need for automation in a disruptive world. We looked at a case study of one of our clients St Frock and how they were able to get through scary scaling while utilising a technique we coined ‘S.C.A.R.Y’ growth.
Cez: Fantastic event which retailers and merchants should definitely partake in. The Keynote speakers alone provide some very insightful information and getting to know people in the industry is invaluable.
Q5: What does S.C.A.R.Y stand for?
Cam: Essentially it is a simple way to focus on some of the key things that are important factors that can keep you from being reactive within your business when you grow quickly.
S – Surround yourself with the right people – This being partners, employees, agencies and support network.
Choosing the right people matters and having a formula to identify this is key. As an agency we provide a criteria to help make the decision on whether we are the right fit.
C – Core Processes and Technology Matter! – The wrong process or technology will only exacerbate your problems as you scale, understanding the right process and technology will allow you to grow exponentially. In the presentation we discussed ways you could identify this through mapping your tech architecture and building an understanding for how your teams communicate.
A – Automate Everything! – At least 90% of the businesses we work with have had a process which required manual intervention that could be automated with the website. These manual processes are a drain on budget and time and can also limit the rate of growth your business can access.
R – Review Regularly! – Suprisingly many eCommerce based businesses fail to review the right areas of their business. When it comes to technology a 6 monthly review period should be utilised. The rate of eCommerce technology redundancy is at such a pace now that if you review annually, you have a good chance of being left behind by your competitors. We recommended that a 6 month (minimum) review of technology and processes is vital to staying ahead of your competition and enabling your business to capitalise on scale.
Y – Your Vision is Key! – Without looking at where you are going, or where you want to be making the right technology decisions and process improvements means nothing. Your Vision forms the direction of all other decisions, and in a reactive eCommerce world, this is one of the most neglected areas. The most successful eCommerce business, put a continual focus on their mission, their core values and ensure their teams live by it.
Q6. Any final comments about the event?
Cam: iMedia is an amazing event full of leaders in the industry. It’s often hailed as one of the best events of the year, so we try to encourage all our clients to take part.
If you would like to know more about iMedia or MindArc’s SCARY formula for success, please contact us to learn more.